Fine Art Images from the American Southwest

Tag: Ute Mountain

Guadalupe Mountain, NM Hike. 05-22-2024

Greetings from San Cristobal, NM, and beyond. This week a hike up Guadalupe Mountain in the Wild Rivers area of the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Last week we went down to the river. This week we hiked up to a vantage point that gave us views of the gorge and the Blanca massif in Colorado, a great view to accompany lunch. Unfortunately a smoky haze somewhat obscured the distant 14,000 + ft peaks. So instead we looked down, watching where we stepped for the morning emergence of rattlesnakes and bouquets of wildflowers.

Wild Rivers overlook, Guadalupe Mountain Trail NM
Guadalupe Mountain, Wild Rivers Overlook, and Ute Mountain.

Indian Paintbrush were in abundance at the trailhead, individuals, and clusters.

Indian Paintbrush
Indian Paintbrush.

Indian Paintbrush, cluster
Indian Paintbrush, cluster.

At about 8500 ft above sea level the Indian Canyon Fleabane took over the nooks and crannies in the boulder fields to the summit overlook.

Indian Canyon Fleabane
Indian Canyon Fleabane.

That was yesterday. Today I took a quick jaunt up a watery trail in the Hondo Canyon to check out the creek crossings. I didn’t get far. I left my hiking poles in the car. Below is a solitary wild Columbine. There were many more. I liked this single bloom glowing against the rock.

Wild columbine, Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Wild Columbine, Italianos trail, Hondo Canyon.

A leafy green plant, Rowan I think, of which there were many.

Leafy green plant, Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Rowan plant on the Italianos Trail.

A spot on the creek running alongside the trail, not one of the crossing points, but a picturesque little falls.

Italianos trail Taos Ski Valley
Italianos Creek.

Lastly the Cottonwood in Arroyo Hondo, you know the one, in a sleet and hail storm last week. I got pelted and had to dive back into the car.

Arroyo Hondo Cottonwood, NM
Cottonwood and Acequia (irrigation ditch), Arroyo Hondo, NM.

As always. Thank you for looking. Have a great week. G

Iconic Ute Mountain, The Plateau, New Mexico. 03-09-2023

Greetings from San Cristobal. This week some views of Ute Mountain.

Ute Mountain is a free-standing, Dacitic, extinct Pliocene volcanic cone”. That’s a mouthful. Besides being one of my revered peaks, it is also set in one of my favorite areas, the Taos Plateau Volcanic Field and the San Luis Valley. The mountain also lies within the Rio Grande del Norte National Monument.

The images below encompass a span of almost twenty years.

On the home front, I feel the surgery on my foot will make my photo treks much more enjoyable for years to come.

Ute Mountain clouds
A localized weather pattern over Ute Mountain.

Road to Ute mountain
Road to the mountain.

Old sheep corral with Ute Mountain
Old sheep corral out on the plateau.

Ute Mountain on the Taos Plateau
A view from Guadalupe Mountain across the Taos Plateau.

Rio Grande del Norte National Monument
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument. Do you recognize the peak back there?

The image below is the one that initiated my fascination with this iconic landmark. Often, I will take a drive north, a pilgrimage of sorts, to visit the mountain. Click here if you want to see more images.

Near Costilla NM
Near Costilla, New Mexico.

Lastly, a couple of shots from closer to home.

Moon rise, San Cristobal
The moon rise this week from the deck in San Cristobal, NM.

And a view across the plateau and beyond to Cerro Pedernal (not a volcano but very much resembles one), “flint peak” near Abiquiu, NM. Immortalized by the artist Georgia O’Keeffe it can be seen from a vantage point behind our home. In the photo, Cerro Pedernal is probably 65-70 miles as the crow flies. The views out west extend a hundred miles or more on clear days. The vistas open like nowhere else, and the skies go on forever.

Cerro Pedernal shot from Taos, NM
Cerro Pedernal shot from Taos, NM.

As always thank you for looking and visiting. And thank you for all the continued well wishes, comments, and compliments.

If you want the name of a wonderful foot and ankle specialist I can give you a recommendation! G

San Luis Valley views, and Mountain Snows.

Greetings from the San Luis Valley.

Here’s the tree I promised in last week’s post. I headed north in a dust storm. Inclement weather could be my middle name. What the dust afforded me besides spots on my sensor was a slight separation of the tree and mountain. The sky in this image of the lone tree was unexpected. The tree had lost a small limb since my previous trip. I didn’t mind. It cleaned up the composition. (Click on images to enlarge).

Ute Mountain tree
Ute Mountain lone tree, San Luis Valley, CO.

The dust created a nice veil of diffuse light so the poles and trees stood out. I’d not seen them so prominent before.

Power poles with Ute Mountain
Ute Mountain with power poles and a big sky.

In the following photo, you can see the dust storm is more apparent. The trees really stood out against Ute Mountain like guardians.

Ute Mountain trees
Ute Mountain trees with San Luis Valley dust storm.

Heading home a little later the wind at Sanchez Reservoir was so strong. When I stopped to shoot the ice on the shoreline I could barely open the car door. I got out and made a few so-so images then had to jump back in the car and get my legs in fast before the door slammed shut on my ankles. Did I say how cold the wind chill was? I wish I’d looked. All I can say is it was cold!!!

I knew I wanted to catch the light on the fresh snow on the peaks in the Latir Peaks Wilderness, so I headed in that direction. I’ve done this shot before almost to the day. I wasn’t disappointed this time either. The wind had subsided but the cold remained. So I parked with a view and rested the camera on the open window. With the heat on and music playing, I was comfy and waited. The last bit of light through the clouds caught Cabresto Peak just right. In the second image below, I zoomed in for a close-up.

Wide view of Cabresto Peak, Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM
Wide view of snow on Cabresto Peak, in the Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM.

Cabresto Peak, Latir Peaks Wilderness, NM
A little closer in on Cabresto Peak..

… And a couple of my favorite images of Taos Mountain. The first shot is from the Ranchos Valley with an acequia (irrigation ditch), red willows, and snow-capped peaks of Taos Mountain.

Taos Mountain red willows
Taos Mountain red willows and snow, Ranchos de Taos, NM.

This image of Taos Mountain was when it was bathed in the last glow of sunlight through the letterbox opening in the clouds.

Taos Mountain winter light.
Taos Mountain with winter sunset light.

Phew, we made it another year. As always thanks for looking, happy new year. G

Snow, Cattle Guard, Osprey, Elk, RV, Road G, Chile Trompe l’oeil

Some shots around the extended neighborhood these last couple of weeks. Still a lot of snow in the high country and a brightly colored cattle guard glowing like Kodachrome® yellow. An Osprey with a half-eaten fish on a fence post in the Chama Valley followed by an elk skull and antlers with a backdrop of San Antonio Mountain and great sky over the Volcanic Plateau. A few days ago we cruised north into the San Luis Valley and found an RV standing alone under a brooding sky and the Road G intersection with Road 7 looking north towards Blanca Peak and south to Ute Mountain. Last but not least on a photo tour/workshop two weeks ago, Chile Trompe l’oeil in Costilla and El Rito, NM. Thanks for checking in and looking and for all the great comments, emails, and compliments. G

High Country Snow fence
High country snow and fence near Hopewell Lake, NM.

Cattle Guard, Kodachrome Yellow
Cattle Guard, thoughts of Kodachrome come to mind.

Osprey Chama NM
Osprey on a fence post with half eaten fish in Chama, NM.

Elk head antlers
Elk head, antlers with San Antonio Mountain in the Taos Volcanic Plateau.

RV, San Luis Valley
RV, San Luis Valley, southern Colorado.

Road G San Luis Valley looking north
Road G in the San Luis Valley looking north to Blanca Peak.

Road G San Luis Valley Ute Mountain
Road G in the San Luis Valley looking south to Ute Mountain.

Blue door with chile Trompe l'oeil in Costilla, NM
Blue door with red chile ristras Trompe l’oeil in Costilla, NM.

Painted Chiles
Painted chiles on El Farolito Restaurant in El Rito, NM

Wolf Moon Rising, Setting, Northern New Mexico.

Last week was the full Wolf Moon. It has many other names such as “Canada Goose Moon”, “Greetings Moon”, and a favorite alternative of mine, “Frost Exploding Moon”.
In this case, I’ll stick to calling it wolf moon as it is known around these parts. You can read more here.
On the night before the actual full moon, I met up with my friend John and set up, with plenty of time to spare, in order to be ready. When the moon rose behind the Northern New Mexico, Vallecito Mountain the light was still a little pale and not so dramatic, so we headed east and closer to the mountains to catch it rising over the exact same peak. On the night before the actual full moon, the landscape is bathed in the light of the setting sun as the moon, discernibly full rises in the scene making for a well-balanced exposure. We made some nice images that evening.

Wolf Moon, Vallecito Mountain
Wolf Moon, Vallecito Mountain, Northern New Mexico.

The Wolf Moon, Vallecito Mountain with the area known as Des Montes.
The Wolf Moon, Vallecito Mountain with the community of Des Montes.

I wasn’t done with the Wolf Moon yet so the following morning I got up early and drove about thirty minutes north near the Colorado State Line to watch it set around Ute Mountain and across the plateau.

Ute Mountain, a tree, with the Wolf Moon setting.
Ute Mountain tree with the Wolf Moon setting, Northern New Mexico.

Ute Mountain, Wolf Moon and across the plateau to San Antonio Mountain.
Ute Mountain, Wolf Moon, and across the plateau to San Antonio Mountain.

Road to Ute Mountain with the Wolf Moon setting.
Road to Ute Mountain with the Wolf Moon setting.

Wolf Moon across the plateau with Sunshine Valley community.
Wolf Moon across the plateau with the Sunshine Valley community.

Here’s a link to the full Wolf Moon eclipse on January 21, 2019.

As always thank you for looking in. Geraint.

Ute Mountain and the Wild Rivers Area, Winter in the Rio Grande Gorge

More snow coming to northern New Mexico in the next few days. We’re going to head out for certain if it does. We’ll stop in here at Wild Rivers Recreation Area for a view of Ute Mountain, where the wild Rio Grande makes a nice leading line. Thanks for looking. G

ute mountain wild rivers snow 9090 9095

Big Cloud, Ute Mountain, New Mexico

Big cloud over Ute Mountain, New Mexico. Ute Mountain, like its companion, San Antonio Mountain create their own weather systems. Ute Mountain and San Antonio are both free-standing, that rise to over 10,000 feet above sea level. On the plateau, they are unmistakable.  Thanks for looking. G

Big cloud over Ute Mountain, New Mexico.

Taos Plateau Volcanic Field, Northern New Mexico

Taos Plateau Volcanic Field, moon setting, northern New Mexico. From left to right, Cerro Chiflo, Cerro de la Olla, Ute Mountain, San Antonio Mountain. The road heads west across the plateau, over the Rio Grande, with the waxing moon, and beyond into the sunset. Thanks for looking. G

Taos Plateau Volcanic Field, Northern New Mexico

Ute Mountain, Red Barn, Crescent Moon, Colorado

Ute Mountain with the red barn and crescent moon in the San Luis Valley, Colorado. I headed north to the state line and into Colorado yesterday evening. The sun and moon were setting as I drove forty-five minutes for a shoot at the dilapidated barn. Flocks of crows went where ever crows go at night and owls took up their nightly vigil in the cottonwood snags. The holes in the barn let the dusk and moonlight in. A few stray critters dodged my tires as I ran over their tracks in the twilight. Thanks for looking. G

Ute Mountain, Red Barn, Crescent Moon, Colorado

Lone Tree, Ute Mountain, San Luis Valley

Lone tree with Ute Mountain in the vast San Luis Valley, Colorado. I can’t pass up a lone tree. I keep a folder full on my phone for future photo prospects when the elements come together. I like the animal track, probably a coyote who frequents the nearby hamlet of Mesita, Colorado. Thanks for looking. G

Lone Tree, Ute Mountain, San Luis Valley